Tagoloan, MisOr, Dec. 18 — The launch today of an international shipping route of the Thailand-based Regional Container Lines (RCL) at the Phividec Industrial Authority board room, Administrative building as its newest port of call will boost Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental as the emerging agro-industrial exporter of Northern Mindanao.
PHIVIDEC-IA Administrator and CEO Jose Gabriel “Pompee”La Viña
congratulated the management of RCL as the newest player in international shipping routes through the expansion of its container fleet.
“Let us continue to work together to lead our organizations and country to a bright economic future,”La Viña said during the inaugural event held at the MCT Port.
La Viña cited RCL’s weekly service connecting MCT in the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate to Singapore as transshipment hub.
“This could only mean higher incomes, more jobs, and a more comfortable life for our people”, La Viña said.
This will not only increase the transshipment capacity but extends the reach of the international port as welll with other leading ports of call in the Asean region, he said.
The weekly service of RCL multiplies the options for importers and exporters in and out of China, Korea, Hongkong and Taiwan, La Viña further said.
More importantly, it offers a more direct connection for Cagayan de Oro and all areas in Northern Mindanao to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and the rest of Southeast Asia, he said.
“Coupled with the possible expansion of the MCT which we are presently considering, the growing carrier line up at the port will further cement the position of PHIVIDEC IA as one of the country’s premiere industrial estates,”La Viña explained.
It will ensure that MCT, which posted positive growth even in the midst of the Covid pandemic, will continue to grow, he said.
For the City of Cagayan de Oro and the rest of Misamis Oriental, this strengthens our position as a major agro-industrial exporter, he added.
The availability of a regular and predictable service to a major international hub also presents opportunities for entrepreneurs and industries to move up the value chain.
RCL weekly service uses Singapore as transshipment hub to connect Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga to China, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East.
RCL offers reliable transit time allowing stakeholders to reduce inventory costs and plan productions.
The new service on a two-vessel rotation calls Singapore as transshipment hub to connect Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga to China, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Middle East.
RCL has been in the Philippines for 32 years now and the commitment to further expand its services at the same time help the country raise its competitive edge in the ever-challenging transport and commercial landscape remains unwavered, said RCL Country Representative Jesus Sedano.
With the new deployment of Cebu, Cagayan, Zamboanga and Singapore shuttle service, RCL has once again fulfilled its commitment, he added.
On the other hand, Eagle Express Group chairman and chief executive officer Angelito Colona sees the new RCL service serves as a bright opportunity for the country despite challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Colona said, “This pandemic has been a challenge for everyone, yet the opportunities are ever-present. As businessmen, we just need to unravel them amidst all the noise.”
Eagle Express Lines general manager Marlon Isah de Guzman described the service as “a game-changer”, offering a “very predictable and reliable transit time that allows international trade stakeholders to reduce inventory costs and plan productions accordingly.”
He said areas outside the RCL network may still be served via partner international shipping lines.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) area vice president for Visayas Samuel Chioson said adding an option to “ship via Singapore will allow more flexibility and opportunities for both importers and exporters within the Visayan Regions.”
Meanwhile, PCCI assistant vice president for Mindanao Ma. Theresa Alegrio noted the beneficial nature of RCL’s call to Cagayan de Oro.
Alegrio said Misamis Oriental, whose capital is Cagayan de Oro, is primarily an agro-industrial exporting area of Mindanao and the RCL service opens up “conduits to time-sensitive commodities will most definitely be beneficial to exporters in the area and adjacent provinces.”
Cagayan de Oro is the main international gateway for Northern Mindanao.
The addition of RCL into the MCT carrier line up gives Mindanao’s business community greater access to Singapore, ensuring growth opportunities in the years to come, according to Roberto Locsin, chief executive officer of Philippine Growth Terminals for International Container Terminal Services, Inc., operator of MCT.
“MCT has remained unscathed by the COVID pandemic and showed resilience in both the foreign and domestic import and export markets that serve our customers,” he said.
Thailand-based RCL owns and operates 46 container vessels covering more than 66 destinations in Asia, India, India subcontinent and the Middle East.